Karl Anderson returned to WWE alongside his tag team partner Luke Gallows on the October 10th season premiere of WWE Raw. For weeks, Finn Balor had been asking AJ Styles to join The Judgment Day, and Styles finally admitted that he did need family to help him – but revealed that he wasn’t talking about Balor, and brought out Gallows and Anderson to help even the odds against his foes.
On October 17th, it was announced that Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio of The Judgement Day would take on Gallows, Anderson, and AJ Styles of The OC on November 5th at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The match announcement itself came as little surprise as the two teams were clearly at odds, but fans were quick to notice that the date put him in direct conflict with a previously announced match between Anderson and Hikuleo for the IWGP NEVER Openweight Championship in Osaka the same day.
NJPW Publicly Threatened To Strip Karl Anderson Of The NEVER Openweight Championship
In the wake of the Crown Jewel announcement, Karl Anderson posted a video on social media that made it clear he would be in Saudi Arabia on November 5th instead of fulfilling his championship duties in Osaka. This led to NJPW issuing a public statement in which they threatened to strip him of his championship if he didn’t honor his commitment to the scheduled match against Hikuleo.
While the situation seems heated to outside viewers, a new report from Fightful Select reveals that all parties may be working together behind the scenes and that there is little actual animosity over the situation. The report states that despite NJPW’s threat to strip him of the championship, the company still has plans to work with Karl Anderson and have him fulfill future dates, which WWE is said to be fine with.
The report continues, noting that New Japan have been aware that Anderson would be returning to WWE as far back as August, and that was when the deal between all parties was worked out. According to sources close to the situation, things are perfectly fine behind the scenes between Anderson, WWE, and NJPW.